Melbourne co-captain Nathan Jones supports the AFL in taking a “hard line stance” on treatment of umpires at all levels.
The AFL has cracked down on umpire abuse in the past week, fining Carlton’s Dale Thomas $7500 and issuing the Carlton cheer squad a please explain for their behaviour against Collingwood.
However, Jones’ teammate Jordan Lewis said Thomas was “hardly done by” on Fox Footy on Tuesday night.
Although he understands where Lewis was coming from, he believes the AFL’s crackdown on abuse will benefit not just the top level, but also local leagues across the nation.
“I reckon from Lewy’s (Lewis’) comments, I think he’s just trying to support a player in the heat of the moment but I guess that doesn’t fly anymore, particularly in this day and age,” the 31-year-old told SEN Breakfast.
“What we’ve learnt from the hard line stance from the AFL is… that it’s not acceptable in terms of the way we treat and abuse umpires.
“I can see that it’s a huge issue in the AFL but from what I hear and see at local level, the treatment and the abuse of umpires is quite significant.
“It has been affecting the participation and the involvement of junior umpires.
“I think with Jack (Riewoldt) and Lewy’s comments, they’re just sort of going into bat for Daisy.
“From a universal point of view, it’s important that we do take a hard line stance to influence and change the behaviour that we see across all levels of footy and not just in the AFL competition.”
Hear Nathan Jones on SEN Breakfast in the player below.